The ‘new pota­toes’ are here

Much an­tic­i­pated spuds are a real taste of sum­mer

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FOOD -

New pota­toes have been hit­ting Is­land gro­cery stores and road­side stands that are pop­ping up across Prince Ed­ward Is­land.

Lo­cals and tourists alike savour this taste of Is­land sum­mer.

Prince Ed­ward Is­land potato pro­duc­ers, mar­ket gar­den­ers and stu­dents em­ploy all sorts of meth­ods to meet this de­mand for early pota­toes. The first step is green sprout­ing the seed to en­sure that when it goes in the ground, it is ready to grow.

Af­ter plant­ing, many grow­ers cover the potato drills with plas­tic or float­ing row cover if they hope to have some crop to mar­ket by late June and early July. This helps to warm up the soil and air un­der­neath, pro­tect­ing the emerg­ing plants from late frosts and en­cour­ag­ing early growth.

Be­fore all this takes place, va­ri­ety se­lec­tion is key. Potato va­ri­eties vary in ma­tu­rity, from as early as 60 days to long sea­son va­ri­eties that will grow for over 120 days. Com­mon early sea­son va­ri­eties on P.E.I. in­clude Ir­ish Cob­bler (an old time favourite), Eramosa (a creamy tast­ing potato), Su­pe­rior (a stan­dard com­mer­cial early) and Jem­seg (usu­ally the first one ready). Of­ten th­ese early pota­toes are mar­keted by va­ri­ety name and many peo­ple have their favourite.

Fresh pro­duce is a key part of the rep­u­ta­tion P.E.I. has as Canada’s “food is­land”, and pota­toes cer­tainly have a star­ring role. New pota­toes are great on the bar­beque, in a salad, or sim­ply boiled with some but­ter, salt and pep­per.

Break­fast Baked P.E.I. Pota­toes On be­half of the P.E.I. Potato Board Prep Time & Yield

In­gre­di­ents

4 Baked Rus­set Pota­toes 4 Tbsp But­ter 4 Fresh Eggs Pre-cooked Ba­con Shred­ded Ched­dar Chives Salt & Pep­per

Di­rec­tions

Pre­heat oven to 375ºF. Slice Baked Pota­toes length­wise in half, and hol­low out a small bowl into each potato. Place on a bak­ing sheet. Place 1 Tbsp of But­ter in each hol­low of the pota­toes. Crack one Egg in each potato bowl, sea­son with Salt, Pep­per and Chives. Sprin­kle with Shred­ded Ched­dar, and top with pieces of pre-cooked Ba­con. Bake for 17-25 min­utes or un­til eggs are just set. For softer eggs, sim­ply bake for a shorter amount of time.

Once done, serve im­me­di­ately or let cool and store for a quick ‘heat and eat’ break­fast.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

New pota­toes are great on the bar­be­cue, in a salad, or sim­ply boiled with some but­ter, salt and pep­per.

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